#HeartyTuesday: ORANGE

The change you expect to see when you adopt the use of home remedies or fruits and foods to cure diseases do not happen speedily; it takes some time, much effort and discipline. However, it eventually happens, and it comes with no strings attached.

It is the last Hearty Tuesday in this series and the secret Hearty magician for the day is ORANGE.

Oranges have got loads of benefits, and they are so easy to squeeze into our everyday meal. They are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral, which helps the heart to function properly. When potassium levels get too low, one may develop abnormal heart rhythm known as arrhythmia.

Oranges are naturally rich in folate, or folic acid, a vitamin of the B group. One role of folate is to process the amino acid homocysteine in the body. When folate is lacking, homocysteine is not broken down, piles up in our blood vessels and becomes toxic, even in small amounts. The accumulation of high levels of homocysteine in the blood may cause a heart attack even among people who have adequate cholesterol levels.

One orange contains about 3 grams of fiber: 60% is soluble fiber and 40% insoluble. Both types are essential for health, but soluble fiber is the one that lowers cholesterol. Pectin, the soluble fiber that's found mainly in the skin around each orange section and in the peel, helps trap and eliminate cholesterol from the body. Try to eat a little of the white part of the orange peel; it contains half of the fruit's pectin supply.

The flavanone hesperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This component is found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange. To reap the full benefits of oranges, grate a tablespoon of the peel and use it to flavor tea, salads, yogurt, soups, and cereals.

Give your body a green treat today.

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